On Sunday, McClure River Ranch defeated Los Amigos by a score of 8-5 to win the Mount Sopris Cup
By: Rebecca Baldridge
McClure River Ranch (Alejandro Poma, Marc Ganzi, Nic Roldan, and Jared Zenni) met Los Amigos (Paul Foster, Michael Bickford, Politio Pieres and Alejandro Novillo Astrada) yesterday on Field One at the Aspen Valley Polo Club.
The final began on a somber note, with a moment of silence to honor the memory of Preston Foster, son of Paul and Alejandra Foster, who died in a tragic accident last week. The Aspen Valley Polo Club offers heartfelt condolences to the Foster family.
The first chukker started out fast and furious, with both teams up and down the field but unable to score. It wasn’t until the 3-minute mark in the second chukker that Alejandro Poma put the first goal on the board after picking up a trademark long drive from Nic Roldan. Michael Bickford scored on a penalty 3 to end the second chukker tied at 1-1. In the third, Bickford scored again to put Los Amigos briefly in the lead at 2-1, but a succession of goals by Zenni, Roldan and Ganzi left McClure River Ranch in the lead by 4-2 at the half.
In the fourth chukker, McClure River Ranch kept Los Amigos off the board, while Jared Zenni knocked one in for the team, putting McClure River ahead 5-2. Ganzi and Poma scored in the fifth, bringing the score up to 7-2, but in the last minute, Paul Foster came from the left and put the ball through, bringing the score to 7-3. Alejandro Poma started the final with a spectacular open back shot at full speed to put his team ahead 8-3. With slightly more than 4 minutes left in the game, Foster scored with a slick neck shot. Novillo Astrada scored the last goal of the game, but Los Amigos fell to McClure River Ranch with a final score of 8-5.
Nic Roldan was named MVP, and Aspen, owned and played by Marc Ganzi, was the Best Playing Pony. Aspen was bred by Pablo Spinacci.
In the Just for the Fun of It subsidiary of the Mount Sopris Cup, Casablanca (John Bickford, Grant Ganzi, Juancito Bollini, and Juan Martin Nero) took on Tonkawa (Jeff Hildebrand, Stewart Armstrong, Pablo MacDonough and Horacio Heguy).
Casablanca came out of the gate strong in the first chukker, mounting a defense that kept Tonkawa off the board while John Bickford scored two goals. In a second chukker reversal, Casablanca couldn’t gain any traction and failed to score while Jeff Hildebrand, picking up a pass from Pablo MacDonough, put one through the posts for Tonkawa. Juancito Bollini was on fire in the third chukker, scoring three goals to end the half at 5-1 in favor of Casablanca.
Tonkawa battled their way back in the fourth chukker, with Armstrong and Hildebrand each knocking one in. Grant Ganzi put one through for Casablanca, leaving the score at 6-3. Feeling the pressure, Tonkawa ramped up their defense in the final two chukkers, keeping Casablanca off the board. However, Casablanca was also playing a strong defense and despite goals by Tonkawa’s Heguy in the fifth and MacDonough in the sixth, Casablanca won by a score of 6-5.
In the round robin final of the Sopris Mountain Ranch Challenge, with scores carried over from Friday, the action started with Mountain Chevrolet (Michael Payne, Gussie Busch, Pablo Spinacci, and Juan Bollini) defeating La Karina (Lauren Sherry, Carlitos Gracida, Brian Boyd, and Tincho Merlos) 10-7. In the second round, La Karina met Los Amigos Blue (Alejandra de la Vega Foster, Alex Gooding, Nacho Badiola, and Nacho Novillo Astrada). Los Amigos Blue took that match with a score of 10-9. The last match of the round robin was Los Amigos Blue against Mountain Chevrolet, with Los Amigos winning by 7-6.
Los Amigos Blue took the title, with Alejandra de la Vega Foster named MVP.
In the first round, Los Amigos 2 defeated Mountain Chevrolet 4-2. Mountain Chevrolet triumphed over La Karina by 7-3 in the second, but La Karina regained their optimism by beating Los Amigos 2 by 7-5 in the third game of the round robin. Mountain Chevrolet is in the lead with a score of 3, followed by Los Amigos with -1 and La Karina with -2. The action will continue on Sunday.